Saturday, July 26, 2014
Denali Stud sales grad V. E. Day came from last in a field of nine to score a thrilling head victory in the $100,000 Curlin S. Friday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course.
Bred in Kentucky by Bluegrass Hall, Denali consigned and sold 3-year-old V. E. Day for $105,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
After trailing the field while saving some ground for the first six furlongs of the Curlin, Jose Lezcano swung V. E. Day well out into the racetrack for the stretch run. With clear sailing on the outside, the chestnut sophomore bound past his foes to get up in the final strides.
V. E. Day ran the 1 1/8-mile Curlin in 1:50.91
"He saw the horses and kept running," Lezcano said. "I saved ground the whole way, and when I asked him, he gave me a kick."
Though Sunday's $600,000 Jim Dandy S. (G2) serves as a prep for the 1 1/4-mile Travers (G1) on Aug. 23, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said the Travers is on his horse's radar.
"You gotta think about it, but it's too early to tell," Jerkens said. "We'll have to analyze a bunch of things to see how the race holds up, time-wise and numbers-wise and all that stuff. We'll see. But, you know, a mile and a quarter - they all don't want to go a mile and a quarter. It looks like he can do it, so you've got to seriously think about it."
A son of 2007 turf champion English Channel and from the female family of 1988 turf champion Sunshine Forever, V. E. Day hadn't raced on the dirt since breaking his maiden in an off-the-turf event May 10 at Belmont Park. With Friday's victory, V. E. Day is now 3-1-0 in five starts, earning $159,010 for owner Magalen Bryant.